EnvironmentFolly BeachLive 5 News: Folly Beach working on drainage projects to mitigate flooding
By Paola Tristan Arruda | January 8, 2020 at 9:21 PM EST – Updated January 8 at 11:38 PM
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) – When you live in the Lowcountry, you can expect to see some flooding when it rains.
On Folly Beach, city officials say they also have to worry about the tides.
After applying for grants through Charleston County, the city now has funds for capital drainage projects.
Currently, they are working on raising the road bed and creating drainage outfalls on 9th Street West. Spencer Wetmore, the city administrator for Folly Beach, says the street is one of the worst flooding areas on the island.
“When it’s high tide, we really don’t have anywhere for the water to go because its on a barrier island. We have to keep that in mind at the forefront of everything,” Wetmore said. “The goal is to mitigate the flooding, especially in areas where you don’t have an alternate route.”
The city was also successful in getting a grant for the engineering and construction of a new drainage system.
The plan is to have it run from 2nd Street East to 6th Street East.
Engineers with Charleston County are in the process of engineering and permitting the project through the department of transportation. Officials say they are about a year out from construction.
For over a year, Charleston County and the city of Folly Beach have also been working on an island-wide drainage study.
In September officials held an open house, as part of the study, to hear residents’ flooding experiences.
“The goal is to make a priority list of capital drainage projects,” Wetmore said. “The projects on streets like 9th west and 2nd east are already in the hopper, so this study will create additional projects on top of that.”
City officials say they hope to have recommendations from that study in the summer of 2020.
They have already started setting aside funds for the potential projects.